Friday, June 12, 2015

Today -100: June 12, 1915: Why, the very thought of the Germany army resorting to cruelty and force!

Headline of the Day -100: 
21 treaties, to be precise. The recently passed Seaman’s Act gives foreign sailors in US ports the right to half-pay, exempts foreign sailors from arrest for desertion, requires that a certain percentage of sailors be skilled and a certain percentage understand the language of the captain. All these provisions violate treaties, as well as the contracts those sailors entered into abroad. One little problem: the treaties Congress plans to screw with cover much broader commercial ties, and may now be abrogated entirely by this law.

Headline of the Day -100: 
Whatever floats your boats, guys.

Actually, Social Democratic deputies present reports that German officers are ill-treating soldiers. The minister of war denies some of them, makes excuses for the rest, and asks deputies to stop talking about these things in open session because it might create the impression that “Germany army leaders had to resort to cruelty and force to drive their troops to battle”. He gets his way about the open session.

William Jennings Bryan issues a statement addressed to German-Americans, saying that it was perfectly ok if they wanted Germany to win, but criticizing their criticism of US arms sales to warring countries. Bryan says such sales are perfectly neutral even though they help only the side which is actually capable of taking advantage of it. Oh sure, the US could stop selling arms altogether as some suggest, “but it is strange that they could have overlooked” that that could hasten peace only because it would help one side. That may be the least persuasive logic I’ve ever heard, and he’s condescending about it as well, which pretty much sums up William Jennings Bryan right there. He also asks them to try to pressure Germany in favor of the US position; German-Americans will be about as happy about this as Muslims today are happy being asked to disavow every single terrorist act.

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